Film and stage actress Rutanya Alda has a great memory about her work in film. Her Mommie Dearest Diaries, a diary of her work in and recollections of making the movie, Mommie Dearest, is currently awaiting its publishing home. In tribute to her eclectic career in film and honoring her upcoming visit to Denver, Fresh City Life is showing two of her other well-known movies -- The Deer Hunter and When a Stranger Calls. I recently asked Rutanya if she could offer us some insight into the filming of The Deer Hunter, which shows at Central Library this Tuesday.
"I don't think any of us knew that this film was going to have the powerful impact that it did. We were a group of people brought together and housed together at the beginning of the film in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a heat wave, so we wound up spending time together. Michael Cimino, the director, was smart; he brought us all in a week before shooting so we were able to bond during this time -- as you would if you were all friends in a small town. Directors don't do that anymore; too bad."
"Because we were on location it made for more closeness. If one goes home every night, it's a different feeling than being on location and eating together, sharing breakfast together, doing laundry together -- like Johnny Cazale and John Savage and I would do. I loved working on this film and my job as an actress was to be truthful to small town life, and the hopes of Angela (Alda's character in The Deer Hunter) to be loved and have a family."
It is a spectacular movie and a stand out in the pantheon of Vietnam War films. I'll share more of Rutanya's comments on Tuesday night before the show.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Tuesday, May 6, 6-9 p.m.
Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center
Directed by Michael Cimino. Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, Rutanya Alda. “The Deer Hunter is said to be about many subjects: About male bonding, about mindless patriotism, about the dehumanizing effects of war, about Nixon's "silent majority." It is about any of those things that you choose, if you choose, but more than anything else, it is a heartbreakingly effective fictional machine that evokes the agony of the Vietnam time.” Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com. Note: due to the extended runtime, showtime will be 6 p.m. for this film. 182 minutes. Rated R.
And check out the big event celebrating Rutanya and the film Mommie Dearest!
Mommie Dearest Brunch
Featuring Mommie Dearest star Rutanya Alda (“Carol Ann”) In-Person!
Hosted by film critic and writer Walter Chaw
Saturday, May 10, noon-4:30 p.m.
Sie Film Center, 2510 E. Colfax, 80206
Purchase Tickets Online
Enjoy an afternoon with film and stage actress, Rutanya Alda, who played the long suffering maid, Carol Ann, to Faye Dunaway’s Joan Crawford in the camp, cult classic Mommie Dearest. Our friends at Whole Foods Market will be serving up Mom’s Day realness with a brunch fit for Hollywood royalty. Stay after the screening of Mommie Dearest for the most tasty scoop; Ms. Alda will be dishing up stories from her upcoming book, Mommie Dearest Diary, about playing opposite Faye Dunaway in the film that Faye won’t talk about. Host Walter Chaw will guide a post-film discussion and Ms. Alda will meet her fans in the theatre lobby after the film.